According to the members of the Communism Club, their club has existed for “an eternity.”
Whether the tight-knit group is debating the political and economic state of the world, listening to the Red Army Choir or playfully contemplating whether or not to add “or else” into their club slogan, the Communism Club is truly unlike anything else you will find in Redwood’s halls.
Created in January by junior Keaton Ferguson, who proudly sports a USSR pin during meetings, the club now has about eight members and the club meets once a week on Wednesdays in room 152 to learn about communism, a form of government that implements a classless society and has been publicized by the Soviet Union and the Cold War.
According to Ferguson, he has always had a mild interest in communism, despite growing up in a household that rarely discussed politics.
“I think [my interest in communism] comes from the Marin ideology; everyone hates materialism and communism is really a natural extension of our frustration with modern capitalist society,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson created the club this year after reflecting on a trip to Cuba he took the previous summer and the positive reactions he received when talking about his trip.
“I went to Cuba, which is, some would call, communist. I was talking about how much I appreciated the different style of life, and [another student] got really mad that I liked anything that had to do outside of capitalism. It was frustrating,” Ferguson said.
The club brings together a diverse group of students, stemming from various grades and backgrounds, including sophomore Duncan Bailey who was introduced to the club after sitting next to Ferguson in math class. He said he believes the club has provided an opportunity for him to learn more about different governments and politics.
“I have become more elevated in my knowledge of communism, economics and politics,” Bailey said.
In their exploration of communism, the club is currently analyzing the fascist regimes of the movie “Shrek,” which Ferguson and other club members not only explained but debated.
“We’re analyzing the political ideology of the fascist dictator, Farquaad, and his extremely intelligent relocation of the magical creature. We believe ‘Shrek’ is actually the antagonist of the story. While he is a good masculine model, he does some pretty evil things,” Ferguson said.
It was at this point another member chimed in, “Wait, don’t we not like fascists?”
After an animated argument over who is the best character in “Shrek,” which the club members settled with laughter and some strong points, the students returned to their colloquial banter.
Despite an inclusive and unique environment, the club does not actively recruit new members or advertise in the manner of many other Redwood clubs, though they did have a booth at Club Day.
“We like to keep our circle close,” Ferguson said, before being interrupted to engage in a lively discussion of whether their club qualifies as a close circle or square.
In addition to his activities in the club, Ferguson is not hesitant to talk about communism in his daily life. He finds communism an interesting conversation starter for all types of Redwood students, regardless of political allegiance.
“I like to spread the ideology. [I do that by] arguing with Republicans. And Democrats. And Liberals. Liberals are the largest issue in today’s society. I actually have more disagreements with the far left than the far right,” Ferguson said. “I talk about it. I ask people pointed questions. I bring up statistics on how many children die of starvation each year; it’s really depressing.”
For the future, Ferguson and his crew have plans to continue their club through eternity, just as long as it has existed.
Sophomore member Quentin Carol has visions for the coming years, though those visions are about as public as the KGB.
“We have plans for next year, but those plans cannot be disclosed at this time, and will stay secretive,” Carol said.
Ferguson shared not only his message for students questioning the club, but some final thoughts as the meeting came to a close.
“Don’t question the club. Embrace the truth. Down with capitalist pigs,” Ferguson said with a hearty laugh and grin.